A career in market research isn’t always the first career people think of; from personal experience it is not only rewarding but also a vibrant and evolving industry to work in with so much technology and brands wanting to use your skill sets. Think of your number one brand that you wear or your number one restaurant, they will all have market research teams who help to understand people’s opinions at a basic level.
A career in market research could involve…
You first think of being a data analyst or a research executive but there are so many roles that are in the industry now from data visualisation to data science. It is important to have your own personal brand in market research because there are so many other people in the industry. You have to be different. To do that I would recommend reading one of my latest articles around the struggles and success moments of growing a personal brand within the market research industry.
There will always be the traditional market research roles which you can progress your career in from being a research executive; senior research executive; research manager; senior research manager; associate director and then the world is your oyster.
What key skills do you need to have a career in market research?
- You will be able to think on your feet!
- Able to cope with fast-paced and pressured work
- Attention to detail and an analytical mind (and I mean someone to ask and answer ‘Why?’)
- Ability to notice patterns within statistics
- An interest in psychology and behaviour
- Ability to work on multiple projects
- Excellent (spoken and written) communication skills
- Confident presentation skills
- Commercial awareness
- Experience in Microsoft packages
- Familiarity or training in statistics or a willingness to learn
- Be able to be flexible and work as part of a team.
If you possess any of these skills above then I would recommend taking a look at a number of market research jobs.
You can take so much more from just looking at job descriptions though. Market research podcasts are booming in every country at the moment. According to Ofcom in the UK alone, nearly 6 million adults tune into a podcast each week. Gone are the days when people who commute would put the radio on. We are glued to our phones and that means podcasts are king and queen. Podcasts offer rich content and enable someone to listen to them whenever possible.
If you are into a podcast then you should check out these top 5 market research podcasts that I have noticed in the industry so far. Add them to your list!
The market research industry has changed dramatically in recent years through the continued move of the digital revolution and international reach to businesses and consumers and therefore the opportunities for a career path are almost limitless. Talking about a digital evolution, when I started promoting myself on social media, Twitter in particular there wasn’t that many researchers who used the platform but now there are so many. I have actually created a list for you which includes the top 20 market research twitter accounts you need to be following.
A career in market research could mean day to day you are doing…
You might get exposed to managing a small group, an online community, creating an online survey for a well-known brand or interviewing a number of individuals about a topic. You will be able to get a 360 overview on what is happening with various different clients and brands, because of the nature of business. You will also get a chance to work with all sorts of technology solutions.
What kind of research will I conduct if I had a career in market research?
The type of research you will conduct will depend on the size of employer and the type of clients they work with. You will normally specialise in either quantitative or qualitative research.
Quantitative research involves working with large amounts of information from statistics from structured questionnaires and can be used to identify attitudes, behaviours or patterns of sales.
Qualitative research is usually based on one-to-one interviews or focus groups. They can show underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations and take longer to complete.
Survey Monkey offer a great walk through of the differences between quantitative and qualitative research!
Should you choose to have a career in market research?
You should pick your own path but if you are interested in how people interact with day to day lives and brands, have a keen eye for detail then a career in market research may well be for you!
Let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to answer them.